Desiderata

I was rummaging through some old papers and mementos a few days ago and ran across a copy of Desiderata. I first ran across it back in the early 1970’s when I was a teenager and adopted it as my personal daily affirmation. To me, every line was a delineation to lead a better existence and understand the trials of life. I have remembered key passages and unashamedly used them when I thought it was appropriate. Desiderata is Latin for “desired things”. It was written by the American writer Max Ehrmann in 1927 and I believe it is one of the most beautiful and poignant pieces of prose ever written. I will break with my regular posting format, and just post the verse for your review and consideration. If you follow the doctrine of what it says, I am sure you will find a wonderful path to follow.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many

fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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